Life & Death: My Greatest Experiences

Poet Elizabeth King

I watched my granddaughter, Poet Elizabeth King, come into this world during the wee hours of September 18th, 2010. Amazingly, I had “predicted” and hoped that Poet would come into this world on 9/18 because 918 is an auspicious number in my life. Her mother, my daughter Blythe, was exhausted and in agony (the drugs had worn off about 30 minutes prior to the birth). She was screaming as she made the final push, and then my perfect granddaughter came screaming into this world. We scream when we are in pain or fearful. This is life: a breath and a scream.

Several years ago, my cousins called to tell me that my aunt was dying in hospice. They wanted me there for support. On the long drive there, I kept getting the “voices” (which are more like feelings; though hard to explain if you haven’t ever interacted with the ethereal yourself) telling me, “She needs to know it’s ok to go. You must tell her to go.”

When I arrived at the hospice, I asked my cousins if they had told her it’s ok to go. They said they couldn’t do it, but they asked me if I would do it. My Aunt Linda was unconscious but had been in the throes of death for at least a day. Nobody around her, especially her children and her mother, could tell her it was ok to go.  I leaned over and stroked her hair. I whispered into her ear, “Linda, we love you. Everybody here will be ok. It’s ok to let go. It’s ok to leave. You need to follow the light.”

Within 15 minutes she was gone, but not without my grandmother screaming, “Don’t go! Don’t go!” I had to hold my grandmother back and tell her, “No. You must let her go.” This was probably the hardest thing to witness because Linda was the second child that my grandmother had to watch die. She had now lost both of her daughters before her. Her youngest daughter, my Aunt Michelle, had died a couple of years before.

Funerary Rites

Once her soul had escaped her sick, weakened (and otherwise worthless) body, the most peaceful expression rest upon my aunt’s face. She was at peace.
I helped my cousins contact the mortuary, and I stayed until her body was taken. As I walked to my car in the hospice parking lot, I noticed the most perfect white feather resting on the ground in front of my car door. Feathers are a sign to me from “wherever” that I am not alone, and I’m on the right path. It was an amazing experience, and that is when I cried.

I find it odd that our society has such difficulty with the passing of life, yet we celebrate when it comes into this plane of suffering and pain. While life SHOULD be celebrated, we must remember that death is also a celebratory experience. A cycle completed is an amazing thing to behold. If you’re an atheist, you may have a harder time with the experience of death; however, most belief systems have an understanding of the everlasting validity of the soul – the piece of the Divine that inhabits our bodies and then ascends to a higher plane at the time of our physical demise. What’s not to celebrate about getting a “promotion” after you’ve worked so hard for it?

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